This tree that ate a steel bench is in the grounds of the 19th-century King’s Inns, Dublin, a college for barristers founded in 1541 by Henry VIII. It’s next to the vehicle gate on Constitution Hill.
(King’s Inns is frequently used as a location for period films. In fact, Albert Nobbs, a 19th-century drama starring Glenn Close in the title role, was shooting there today, 6 January 2011. I was an extra in the film and was in a scene with my favourite Irish actress, Bronagh Gallagher, and the enchanting Mia Wasikowska. Glenn Close smiled at me. The director was Rodrigo García, son of my favourite novelist, Gabriel García Márquez.)
The tiny figure seated on the bench is Flat Stanley, who my granddaughter Rowan sent to me in 2009 for a class project. I released him from the envelope and unfolded him and took him around Dublin to meet people and see the sights. I took photos of his adventures and sent them to Rowan.
In the book written about him in 1964 by Jeff Brown, Stanley was flattened when a bulletin board fell off the wall onto him. Unfortunately, the week before he arrived in Dublin a similar thing really happened to a man in a store and killed him. This meant that Stanley’s reception was a bit chilly.